Ryan Barnett explains why Shared Parental Leave (SPL) should be extended to the self-employed.
- 15 Jul 2019
From working as a deputy editor for Feminist Times, to content editing at Google Arts & Culture, it’s safe to say that Sarah Graham has a wealth of experience in journalism and copy writing.
Sarah’s passion and knowledge have led her to be an award-winning freelance health journalist, and founder of the feminist women’s health blog Hysterical Women. She has worked with magazines such as Grazia, Women’s Health and many more impressive brands. My Money caught up with Sarah to find out more and ask her our top 10 money questions.
Faye: How would you define financial success?
Sarah: Earning money on my own terms and having enough of it to live comfortably. As a writer, financial success for me is really all about having a secure enough foundation to work flexibly, creatively and independently.
Faye: What’s the hardest thing you’ve learnt about money along the way?
Sarah: I think the hardest thing has been learning to stand up for myself financially. It is okay to say no to work that undervalues me or doesn’t serve my goals, to chase late payments and ditch consistently late payers, and to fight for my right to be paid well and on time for the work that I do.
Faye: If money were no object, what would you treat yourself to right now?
Sarah: I’d treat my husband to a holiday, because he’s such a fantastic support through the highs and lows of freelance life. We’ve both been very focused on work and our new house over the last couple of years, so travelling has been limited to a few days at a time in Europe. I’d love to get away for a proper adventure together again – probably a tour around India, which has been on our bucket list for years.
Faye: If you could donate to any cause, what would you choose?
Sarah: I work with a lot of brilliant charities, particularly around health and women’s issues, so it would be hard to choose just one. Mind tends to be my go to for fundraising, but I’d love to support more women’s health charities too, like Wellbeing of Women, The Agenda Alliance, BPAS and The Eve Appeal.
Faye: How easy was managing your money, when you first started your business?
Sarah: When I first went freelance, the business and admin side was definitely the part of self-employment I struggled with most. I have got much better at giving myself a financial buffer, as well as putting money aside for tax and savings for the future, but cash flow is still always a little bit of a worry.
Faye: Do you have a favourite finance book, website or app?
Sarah: FreeAgent has hugely helped me get my head around my finances, particularly keeping track of when invoices are due and how much I’m spending on expenses. I can’t recommend it enough.
Faye: Who in your life has taught you the most about money?
Sarah: That’s a tough one. I guess my parents, who have always been very sensible about putting money aside each month and taught me to live within my means.
Faye: Do you have any money regrets?
Sarah: I think life’s too short for regrets – money-related or otherwise. There are definitely money mistakes I’ve learnt from though, like underselling myself early on in my freelance career, and not keeping enough of a financial buffer to allow for the inevitable cash flow issues that come with being self-employed. It’s been a steep learning curve, but I think all the mistakes have taught me how to manage the feast or famine cycle better in future.
Faye: What was the first thing you bought when you got paid for the first time?
Sarah: I’m pretty sure I took myself out for a fancy lunch – food is usually how I celebrate financial wins.
Faye: Would you say you’re driven more by money or love of your work?
Sarah: Love of my work, absolutely. I don’t think anyone goes into journalism for the money!
Learn more about Sarah and her work at www.sarah-graham.co.uk.
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